A festival with a “bounce back” mission

Kaylah Joelle Baker

Before the streets of Melbourne’s CBD were filled with mass anti-lockdown and anti-vax protests, they were lined with climate change protesters.

And while the city is still navigating through the current pandemic crisis, the National Sustainable Living Festival is determined to help rebuild the city with a refocus back onto sustainability.

“We are trying to get the message out about sustainability and help people to connect into the vast array of lifestyle practises that they can adopt,” director of the Sustainable Living Foundation Luke Taylor said.

“And at the same time, we are trying to help Melbourne to bounce back from what has been an incredibly tough period.”

At the forefront of organising the “Bounce Back with Sustainability” program, Mr Taylor stressed the importance of climate action being a “priority”.

“When you look at the state of the planet and the climate emergency that we are facing, it is always time to be thinking about sustainability and climate action, despite the fact that we have another crisis to deal with,” Mr Taylor said.

 

“The festival is a critical event in the Melbourne events platform.”

 

Reiterating the significance of a “zero waste lifestyle”, Kensington Stockyard Food Garden will be home to events centring around this concept.

Following the first composting workshop which took place on February 6, a mushroom growing workshop will take place at the garden on February 20.

Led by former environmental campaigner Emma Wasson and humanitarian Stuart Muir Wilson, the mushroom growing practitioners will not only educate attendees but also aid in helping people with creating take-home kits.

In hoping the various events will attract existing audiences of the Sustainable Living Festival as well as new audiences, the festival is concentrating on “targeting cafes and restaurants” around the city to bring awareness to smaller businesses that have been struggling.

“We are using the power of sustainability and the themes of sustainability to attract audiences to a whole variety of different types of events – from mending, repair workshops, bike maintenance, tours, composting workshops, films, forums and a zero waste cocktail event,” Mr Taylor said.

“There is something for everybody and it really is about teaming up with venue partners who have been doing it tough over the past two years and getting an audience and visitor base back into some critical spaces in Melbourne.”

Running throughout the city from February 1 to 28, there is plenty for the community to get involved in.

And according to Mr Taylor, “there is no time like the present to engage in sustainability events right across the city.” •

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